Writing a business plan for the first time is not a simple task. Creating your plan could be especially overwhelming if you’re not particularly business-savvy. What’s most important is that you understand what you’re trying to accomplish through your business and how you want to accomplish it.
Business plans are usually written out in a specific format, especially if they’re going to be presented to bankers or venture capitalists in the near future. You can find templates and how-to articles online, but it’s the content within those sections that is most important. A standard business plan is outlined as follows.
A summary of all of the things you’re going to discuss in the upcoming sections. Highlight main points that you would want investors to remember.
Why will customers buy from you? How are you meeting customer needs that other companies aren’t meeting?
Market Analysis Summary
Who are your customers and why do you think this? How are you going to get your product to the target market? What are you going to do better than your competitors? Is there even enough room in the market for you to enter a new business into it?
How are you going to make this successful? What are your plans for sales, marketing, operations, and distribution?
Company and Management Summary
Who is a part of your business? Do you have any partners? Does anyone else own equity? Describe everyone on your team.
This could be the tough part for those that aren’t financially literate. This section should include the breakdown of estimated sales, profits, break-even analysis, and balance sheets. You may need an accountant or consulting company to help you make this section as accurate as possible.
If these words seem somewhat foreign to you, you should probably get some help writing your business plan. An accurate business plan should display intricate market research, which is tough to do without the proper resources. Most investors will want to see the breakdown of the industry you’re trying to enter as well as an analysis of your competitors and target market.
A business plan should also be customized to your individual business. While you may be entering into an industry with many similar companies, it’s important to position yourself as unique.